Academia needs to play role for smooth energy transition: Experts

Academia needs to play role for smooth energy transition: Experts

Islamabad (27 August 2021):  The gap between policy makers, academia and industry needs to be bridged for smooth and efficient energy transition in Pakistan.  

The experts from academia and research institutions said this while sharing their views with the participants at the webinar ‘Road to COP26: Role of Academia in Energy Transition of Pakistan’ organized by Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI).   

Dean of Energy Department, Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS), Dr Fiaz Chaudhry said what is missing in existing policies pertaining to energy sector is the right planning to meet needs of day. He said that we need to modernize grids and develop human resource to respond to the new challenges in the sector.  

Prof Nadeem Ahmed Shaikh, Dean, Department of Mechanical Engineering, International Islamic University, Islamabad (IIUI), highlighted the importance of broader collaboration amongst the stakeholders in energy sector and said that sustainability of the natural resources should also be evaluated. Besides, the local challenges in energy sector are also imperative to be considered to develop rational policies, he added.  

Elaborating the importance of data regarding Energy Sector in Pakistan, Dr Abdul Sattar Nizami, Associate Prof. Government College University, Lahore, opined that to reduce knowledge gap in the sector, the academia and policy makers should work together to simplify the knowledge. He said accurate data could play critical role in policy making regarding energy transition in Pakistan.  

Dr Muzzafar Ali, University of Engineering, and technology (UET) Taxila, highlighted the effective communication between all stakeholders including academia and government institutions should be focused upon for smooth energy transition in the country. Dr Muhammad Farooq, Associate Professor, UET, Taxila, was of view that our universities are producing large number of PhDs every year but we lack in evidence-based research to ascertain our real needs and challenges in energy sector. He said that consultation with academia and industry should be ensured for energy sector policies.   

Dr Sajid Amin, Research Fellow, SDPI, emphasized that local energy transition needs local solutions. Besides, countries like Pakistan that are facing economic challenges in the COVID-19 scenario, should be supported through measures such as debt-swap with the climate actions. He said that we also need climate financing, and it is important for the academia to come up with recommendations to be presented at COP-26 in this regard. It would help developing countries like Pakistan to invest in green energy initiates as well, he added. Mr Ubaid-ur-Rehman, Research Associate, SDPI, earlier underpinned the importance of role of academia for energy transition in Pakistan.